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  Training for staff retention - and the cost of investing in people


There are a number of ways to view the cost of inducting new staff and providing ongoing training for all employees. However, budget figures dont mean much unless they are linked to the cost of losing people due to a lack of investment in them from the beginning. It seems obvious that if you are going to pay to recruit the right people then spending money on training them thoroughly and regularly needs to be seen simply as an investment in the future of your new team, and your company.

The cost of training for role fitness
Impacting in a significant way to a new employees success and retention is their expectations of both the job, and the intensity of their training process. These two factors should be managed within the recruitment process prior to an individual accepting the role to ensure there are no surprises. Once they are in training, money has already been spent on the recruitment process and you are looking for your return on that initial investment C usually a minimum of $11,000 per CSR.

This is why the training environment plays a key role in safeguarding the investment that has been made. Induction training in call centres is often facilitated in a very competitive environment where new staff must assimilate a lot of different information very quickly. When companies are eager to keep costs to a minimum by getting CSRs working as soon as possible, the pace of training tends to favour those who learn with apparent speed, rather than those who take their time to learn carefully and may well be more accurate and consistent in the long-term. This is not necessarily helping the retention of new staff.

Cost vs long-term benefits
While costs must be contained, the value of providing employees with the time to learn properly cannot be ignored. This doesnt mean that more training is necessarily better C its simply about the conditions under which employees are expected to learn. When a staff member is provided the opportunity to gain self-confidence in their role, they are also developing the healthy level of perspective and self-esteem that will see them through more stressful periods in the job. Also important in dealing with the pressures of starting a new role is support C and the training environment is where employees first learn whether they have it from their colleagues and trainers C or not.

Training for retention
Ongoing training is generally designed to further the learning gained during induction, or to introduce new products or services. However, the kind of training that helps ensure team members stay longer, can handle the pressure more effectively and remain productive is different from that which gives employees the hard skills to do their job. As a contribution to the cost containment process, it can help to keep this kind of training for employees who have worked for at least six months so that induction training costs have been re-paid before more investment is made.

Training in the longer-term needs to focus on the motivation of each individual it seeks to retain - rather than simply the goals of the company. While we are all 100% motivated all the time, we are not always pointing that motivation in a direction that can best aid our careers, or us. Often we dont know why we feel unmotivated, while other times we have an idea of what may be causing a drop in energy but we dont know how to turn it around to our benefit. Using the training environment to help staff understand what they are motivated towards and how they can become more motivated in their work environment will have a positive impact on the value each individual feels they are receiving by belonging to an environment that helps them learn about themselves C not just the job.

Coping skills
By equipping staff with the skills to more effectively handle the variety of situations they face each day, and teaching them more about themselves and the skills they have to overcome problems and make the most of opportunities will help them feel that while they may not be moving quickly through the organisation they are still gaining value from their chosen work environment.

As long as they feel they are receiving value that goes beyond their pay packet C they will not leave for money. As long as they are not leaving C you are able to recoup the costs involved with finding and keeping them on your team.

Induction Training

  • Product & Service knowledge

  • Company standards

  • Computer systems

  • Business rules

Ongoing Training

  • New products/services

  • New computer systems

  • Changes to business rules

Retention Training

  • New competencies for more senior positions
  • Self-esteem

  • Motivation

  • Coping skills for boredom & stress

  • Goal setting

  • Decision-making
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